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My father fell in a grocery store over an empty pallet. Is the store responsible for his medical bills?

Bentonville, VA |

My father was walking inside a grocery store, rounded a corner and fell over an empty pallet laying on the floor.He was complaining of pain in his knee and side. I took him to the ER and after x-rays and an exam he was told he had a sprain and bruising. My father just had a kidney transplant last Jan and I'm concerned as hard as he fell there could be problems not yet known. The store denied the claim stating he should have looked and seen the pallet before tripping over it. Should I even bother with hiring an attorney?

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Attorney answers 6


Permit me to change your question slightly: Should I even both "to contact" an attorney? Without equivocation, yes. The cost of contacting counsel is zero. Most offer complimentary consultations. Your father may or may not have a viable claim. Speaking with local and qualified counsel will answer this. Speaking with the insurance carrier for the store will doom any claim.

Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney client relationship has been formed or should be inferred. Please speak with a local and qualified attorney. I truly wish you and those close to you all the best. Jeff


Speak to an attorney. With that said, the facts suggest an allegation of contributory negligence. In Virginia, that could kill your claim. You should absolutely still speak with an attorney who can offer reliable advice.

The answer provided is for general information purposes and cannot be relied upon. In order to provide legal advice, one must engage with a live attorney; this answer does not create such attorney-client relationship.


It doesn't hurt anything to have your father contact an attorney to discuss the incident. However, as has been mentioned, this may be a case where the store is going to claim contributory negligence as a defense. Virginia is one of the few remaining states that still allows such a defense. If the jury accepts that your father is in the least bit responsible for the accident and his injuries, then he is barred from making a claim.

Responding to questions on AVVO does not establish an attorney-client relationship between the questioner and any attorney associated with Garrett Law Group, PLC. Responses should be considered and used for informational purposes only. Every case is unique in its facts, and all legal matters should be discussed with a licensed attorney prior to making any decisions or taking any actions.


It's no bother for one of the personal injury lawyers in your state to discuss it with you.


I agree with my colleagues -- the store will want to argue your dad had something to do with his own fall so his claim may be a bit weak. That said, he should talk to a local PI attorney pronto.

Good luck to him.

In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship. You are not to rely upon my note above in any way, but insted need to sit down with counsel and share all relevant facts before receiving fully-informed legal advice. If you want to be completely sure of your rights, you must sit down with an experienced criminal defense attorney to be fully aware of your rights.